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From the Far-Off Mountain

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Kazuki wakes up to the sound of his own voice speaking. Not the kind of thing that happens every day, so he keeps quiet, stays still, and listens to what he's saying.

"She discovered that yer answer sheet was blank! And why wouldn't it? Ya already knew the owner wouldn't be alive ta pick up the exams."

Huh. The guy with his voice has a way with words. And a terrible grasp of his accent. He's a little insulted.

"If I'm wrong, prove it. Show us yer answer sheet, Togano!"

There's a few seconds of stunned silence, then the guy breaks down, sobbing. His motivation's revealed - and seriously, all of this over interpreting Holmes? That's just sad - and the fuss and focus dies down enough that Kazuki thinks it might be safe to open his eyes. He yawns once, stretches twice, and then finds himself looking up at a cute girl grinning at him. He smiles up at her automatically, blinking heavily when he recognizes her.

It's Mouri-san.

He blinks again. No, not dreaming.

"Toyama-kun, you're amazing!" she declares. "Best in the West, no question!"

...interesting. The guy with his voice didn't just sound like him, he'd pretended to be Kazuki. Who would...? No, wait, he already knows the answer to that question. And the eyes he can feel watching the back of his head, he's not imagining those. Someone's behind him, and he knows who.

The better question, then, is "Why would?" Or "How could?"

People are staring again, though, so it might be prudent to hold off on those questions for later. Just maybe. "Yer too kind," he says in that painfully bad accent. The crowd starts applauding, and he laughs. "It was nothing, really."

Toyama Kazuki, honest as always.

He stays by the door he was lying against, and sure enough - look who comes 'round the corner. It's little Kudo-chan, and this time he's sure of it. "Hey," he hisses to the kid, who pauses mid-step to look up at him. "Nice job with that, kid."

Kudo blinks owlishly up at him. "What do you mean, Kazuki-niichan? You're the one who solved the case."

Oh, so we're playing dumb again, are we? Kazuki rolls his eyes and sighs. "No, you're the one who solved it, using me as your puppet." He looks the kid over suspiciously. "Now, just how did you - oh." Grinning, he reaches down and flips the bow tie over, revealing an odd bit of gadgetry. "Well isn't this handy? You're no good at accents, but I bet you can imitate anybody's tone of voice with this thing."

"I - uh..."

"Even your own. Right, Kudo?"

"W-what?" he squeaks. "That's ridiculous, I'm just a kid!"

"Ridiculous, huh?" Kazuki grins to himself. "What is it that Holmes says? "After you've removed the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth", right?" The kid stares up at him, wide-eyed and nervous. Flipping a finger up for each point, Kazuki says, "You disappear just before Kudo appears, reappear after he leaves, and your deductions are exactly in his style. Face it, Kudo, I've got you caught." He grins down at the kid, daring him to keep denying it.

He looks away and sighs. "Fine, you've got me."

"Ha!" Kazuki cheers, pumping a fist in the air. "I knew it, I knew it! Just wait until Hei - uh. What?" Kudo tugs on his shirt again, bringing him down to the kid's level, and lightning fast shoves his hand in Kazuki's ear, pulling out a flesh colored piece of plastic with a small speaker sticking out of one end.

"Uh." Kazuki swallows, his throat suddenly dry. "I can explain that."

Kudo grins, triumphant. "It looks like I've got you too, fake Detective of the West."

Oh man, Heimi is going to kill him.